Sunday, 7 June 2015

Meetups from May in Melbourne

What a busy month of may that was, kicking off on the 1st with the virtual reality meetup. A guy form @TSRCTCO discussed and demonstrated some interactive imersive applications... the Occulus display was amazingly reactive and quick to react to movement without blur or lag. I also got to have a play with the Google Project Tango which had a few cute demo apps and I can't wait till those kind of sensors are standard. It's such a shame Occulus just got bought by Facebook because that looked like being the most open VR platform out there, but I'm terrified that the probably will still be the most "open".


Linux Users Victoria was on the 5th and Nathan Scott inspired me to have a fiddle around with PCP (Performance Co-Pilot) as remote historical logging coult be a very handy tool someday. Check out for more PCP resources. Then Paul Fenwick reminded me (and us all) to keep and eye on our apps, lest they keep an eye on us. His recomendations include afwall+, xprivacy, all the guardian project apps including orbot and off-the-record and also talked up Serval which I've been meaning to have a play with again (but haven't).


The next day was the Melbourne JVM meeting celebrating 20 years of Java with an international guest (New Zeland counts doesn't it). There were a couple of quite syncronynis news items with the Gradle 2.4 release and the BioWare Orbit release also making Free Software Melbourns Gnews. Then Pablo Caif gave us a great demo of performing geospatial queries in Java using GeoTools allowing for easy importing geo data in various formats. It also allows easy plotting and overlays on screen and usefull querying capabilities.

Then Sumit Khanna talked in depth about his experience with BigSense, a sensor network monitoring tool written mostly in Scala (with a splash of Jetty and Tomcat). It was quite an interesting project involving moitoring environmental impact and effects, in this case for storm water monitoring. One of the coolest things was simply the idea of repurposing old/cheap routers that run OpenWRT as microcontrollers for inputing sensor data through one wire interface and return data through wifi. I also checked out Sumits open mike night on th 13th which was a cool night and I particularly liked being reminded of the "this too shall pass" story.


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